Video Tips: Using Your MSR Liquid Fuel Stove

We have covered how to choose the right fuel for your liquid fuel stove and the differences between canister stoves and liquid fuel stoves, but here we bring it back to the basics. If you are the recent owner of a MSR liquid Fuel Stove, looking into getting one, or just need a quick refresher, this is a great video to show you the basics of using your liquid fuel stove. This video teaches you how to fill your fuel bottle, what to fill it with, how to set up your stove, pump your fuel, ignite the stove safely, and optimize your stove for simmering with just a few quick tips.

MSR liquid fuel stoves convert a liquid fuel into a gas for fast, efficient, and clean cooking.

Important Safety Tips:

Before you can run your stove each time, you must assemble the stove, pump, and fuel bottle, then check to ensure there are no leaks.

  • Check that there is no fuel on the bottle, pump, fuel line or burner. Leaking or spilled fuel can ignite easily and possibly burn you.
  • Never disconnect the fuel line from the pump while the stove is lit.
  • Position the bottle so it is as far away from the stove as possible.
  • Keep combustibles four feet away from all sides.
  • Before the stove can operate it is necessary to preheat or prime the stove. This process heats the generator loop and converts the liquid fuel to a gas for efficient burning.

How to Use MSR Liquid Fuel Stoves

Note: It is important to only use MSR fuel bottles as they are designed to work specifically with the MSR pumps.

Most models of MSR liquid fuel stoves share many of the same steps to prime and run the stove. The Dragonfly, however, uses a unique flame control system and must be operated differently.

  1. Fill your MSR fuel bottle to the fill line, with the appropriate fuel for your stove model. All models of MSR liquid fuel stoves can accept white gas, however, some models can accept several other fuel types too. Please refer to your stove’s instructions or check out our other blog posts for information on what other fuels you can use with your stove.
  2. After filling the fuel bottle, insert the pump and tighten it firmly.
  3. Close the pump control valve.

To set up your stove:

Unfold the leg supports so the stove is stable and balanced. If you have the MSR Dragonfly stove, swivel the burner head when opening the supports, unfold the flame adjuster handle, and close the valve fully.

To connect the stove to the pump:

Completely insert the brass end of the fuel line into the pump and secure it in place with the latch arm. If it is hard to insert the fuel line, the pump’s fuel bushing may require lubricating.

To pressurize the bottle, pump 20 to 30 strokes, or until the plunger offers firm resistance.

To ignite the stove:

  1. Place your MSR stove on the heat reflector. This is included as an accessory with your stove.
  2. Turn on the pump control valve slightly, allowing half a spoonful of fuel to pass through the jet and into the priming cup, then close the valve. If you have a Dragonfly stove, turn the pump control valve on fully, then turn the flame adjuster valve to allow half a spoonful of fuel to pass through the jet, then close the flame adjuster valve.
  3. With your face and body back from the stove, reach out and ignite the stove.
    • On the WhisperLight stove, the fuel should be ignited from the priming cup.
    • On the SimmerLight stove, the fuel collects in the top of the stove, hold a flame to the burner head to ignite.
    • In the XGK EX and Dragonfly stoves, the fuel collects in the burner head and on a wick in the body of the stove. Ignite the fuel by holding a flame through holes in the stove body.
  4. Wait about 2 minutes for the preheat flame to reduce in size.
  5. When you can see the flame is reducing in size, open the pump control valve half a turn before the flame dies entirely.
  6. After 10 seconds, a steady blue flame should form. If you have a Dragonfly stove use the flame adjuster control valve to regulate the flow of fuel until you are ready to turn off your stove.
  7. Once you have a steady blue flame, slowly open the control valve or flame adjuster valve, to increase fuel and heat before the blue flame goes out.

If the flame goes out, turn off the stove and wait five minutes before relighting.

How to Simmer Using MSR Liquid Fuel Stoves

To simmer on your MSR liquid fuel stove, turn down the pump control valve to lower the heat. The flame intensity is dictated by the pump control valve in conjunction with the pressure of the bottle. In some cases, to achieve optimal simmering, you may need to pump your fuel bottle fewer times during preparation. This creates lower pressure in your fuel bottle.

Due to the Dragonfly’s unique flame adjuster design, simmering can be controlled accurately and easily using the flame adjuster control valve.

An aluminum heat reflector is included as an accessory with every MSR liquid fuel stove. Fitting this around your stove reduces boil times and improves performance in both calm and gusty conditions.

Putting away MSR Liquid Fuel Stoves

After you have finished using your stove, simply turn off the pump’s control valve and wait for the flame to die out. Wait another 5 minutes for the stove to cool down before touching it.

Check out our Stove Maintenance Playlist for more videos.